Workout Tips

Youngest Man to Bench Press 600 lbs Raw and How He Did It

See how powerlifter Peter Edgette managed to break this world break record with his big-time lift.

josh bryant thumbnail by CSCS, MFS, PES

Youngest Man to Bench Press 600 lbs Raw and How He Did It

Peter Edgette has become the youngest person to bench press 600 pounds raw in competition in the history of powerlifting. He did so at 22 years and 4 months of age, breaking my record of 22 years and 10 months of age. He attained this amazing feat earlier this month at the Metroflex Strength Association, Wild Game Feast powerlifting meet at the world-famous Metroflex Gym in Arlington, Texas.

SEE ALSO: Boost Your Bench Press in 6 Weeks

Hailing from Plano, Texas, Peter is an engineering student and a legendary bouncer in the beer halls of Dallas, Texas. While most kids Peter’s age are zeroed in on women, whiskey and cigars, Peter is like a priest, but the weight room is his monastery. In the three years I have trained Peter, he has never missed a session and he approaches each one with Zen-like focus. 

Check out the actual lift at 2:17 into the video. 

Here are 4 strategies that helped Peter achieve this incredible 600-pound bench press.

1. Decrease Bench Press Frequency

Poke around Instagram and you will stumble upon green trainees enthusiastically proclaiming how they are going to squat or bench press every day; assuming they don’t get injured, they usually burn out.

We had one priority  make Peter Edgette the youngest human being to bench press 600 pounds, not to get social media likes.

We decreased Peter’s training frequency on the bench press from two days a week to one day per week. The result was Peter stayed injury-free and approached each session with enthusiasm.    

Application Point: Genetic thoroughbreds like Peter are easy-gainers, meaning they need to train less often and with less volume. Many self-proclaimed “hard gainers” with poor genetics gleefully exclaim they should train less. These “experts”, in reality, are as full of crap as a Christmas Turkey. Fast gainers have much more fast-twitch muscle fibers and efficiently recruit a greater number of muscle fibers, all which requires greater recovery. The less gifted you are at something, the longer and more frequently you must practice to become a jedi master!

2. Increase Upper Back Training Volume/Frequency

A strong upper back is not the most important component of a big bench press. However, as Kaz said, “Strong man equals strong back.” The bench press is no exception. A big, strong upper back gives you a large shelf to bench press off of and even provides a little spring on the press up. Examining all of Peter’ numbers, his upper back was proportionally weak compared to the opposing muscles on the front side of his body.

Application Point: Peter trains three to four times per week with weights. One day was devoted completely to upper back training, at least two other days included minimally one exercise for his upper back. I have found, purely by anecdotal observation, the upper back responds very well to high frequency/high volume training, regardless of what type of gainer you are. Peter did a minimum of 32 sets of upper back work per week. The lower back does NOT recover quickly, so to increase upper back training frequency, use things like pull-up variations, lat pull downs and keep rows chest supported.